Friday, March 19, 2010

Cao Sponsors Briefing and Testifies at Tom Lantos Hearing on Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Vietnam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 19, 2010

CONTACT:
Dang Nguyen (202) 591-5861


***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Cao Sponsors Briefing and Testifies at Tom Lantos Hearing on Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Vietnam

Washington, DC – In response to recent developments and to evaluate human rights and religious freedom situation in Vietnam, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-2) will sponsor a briefing on March 22, 2010 and appear as a witness in a hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on March 23, 2010.

“While I welcome the recent releases of human rights attorney Le Thi Cong Nhan and Catholic priest and political dissident Father Nguyen Van Ly, I am greatly concerned about the worsening human rights situation in Vietnam as a whole,” said Cao.

Persecution of democracy activists and religious groups reportedly intensified throughout the year. The State Department’s Human Rights Report on Vietnam for 2009 states that “during the year the government increased its suppression of dissent” and “the government severely restricted freedom of association.”

Additionally, reports indicated that mobs which included undercover police officers and Communist Party officials terrorized and assaulted monks and nuns at Phuoc Hue pagoda in Lam Dong province for three days in December. Montagnard Christians and Catholics have also come under increased pressure over the past year. These instances are indicative of a troubling pattern of abuses of human rights and religious freedom.

Representative Cao will reflect upon his recent visit in Vietnam during his meeting with religious leaders, representatives of human rights NGOs, and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Monday, March 22. He plans to have an in-depth discussion and understanding of the issue before appearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing the following day.

Both events are open to media and the public.

***

Briefing: Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Vietnam

By Human Rights NGOs and The US Commission on International Religious Freedom
Sponsored by U.S. Representative Joseph Cao

5:00 - 6:30 p.m. EST
Monday, March 22
122 Cannon House Office Bldg

***

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC)
Hearing Announcement:

Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Vietnam

2:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST
Tuesday, March 23
B-318 Rayburn House Office Bldg



List of Witnesses:

Panel I
The Honorable Anh “Joseph” Cao, member of Congress, 2nd District of Louisiana

Panel II
Michael Cromartie, commissioner, US Commission on International Religious Freedom
Y Hin Nie, Montagnard Christians
Sister Dang Nghiem, Deer Park Monastery
Father Vu Ngoc An, Catholic priest
Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director, Human Rights Watch
Dr. Binh Nguyen, founding chair, International Protection for Prisoners of Conscience
Dr. Quan Nguyen, director, Internet Radio Broadcasting to Vietnam: Rallying for Democracy

***Witness list subject to change.



###

No comments:

Post a Comment